Instagram Guides are the perfect tool for sharing curated, scrollable content with your community.
They give users a simple way to consume a collection of Instagram posts, products, or places in an easy-to-digest format.
Despite all this though, Guides are still relatively underused — which makes them a great opportunity to set your brand apart on Instagram.
What Are Instagram Guides?
Instagram Guides are like a miniature blog right on Instagram. They allow users to scroll through a curated flow of content with commentary — similar to a blog post.
They can be used to curate gift guides, product highlights, content roundups, FAQ guides, travel recommendations, restaurant reviews, and so much more.
They’re unlike any other Instagram feature because you can curate feed posts, products, or locations from across Instagram, bringing it all together with your commentary.
Plus, your Guides all live in one, dedicated place on your profile: the Instagram Guides tab.
When a user clicks on an individual feed post in a Guide, they’re directed back to the original post — making them great for giving old content a new lease of life.
Hello, evergreen content!
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How to Make an Instagram Guide
To create your first Guide, tap the plus icon on the top-right of your profile page and select “Guide.”
From here, you can choose from three different formats: Places, Products, and Posts. Select the type of Guide you want to create, and follow the in-app prompts to curate your content.
Once you’ve chosen the Places, Products, or Posts that you want to feature in your Guide, you can re-arrange the blocks, “Add a Title” and “Change Cover Photo,” as well as adding titles and commentary (optional) for each content block.
When you’re happy with your curated Guide, select “Next” in the top-right hand corner of the screen and then “Share.”
Published Guides are not shared to your main profile feed (yet). Instead, they are housed on a dedicated Guides tab on your profile. Guides are also surfaced in your followers’ Home feeds in the immediate hours and days after publishing.
What Are The Different Types of Instagram Guides?
#1: Instagram Place Guides
The first Instagram Guide format is a collection of places. These Guides are great for city guides, restaurant guides, and travel recommendations.
You can search locations from Instagram's library, or choose from past locations you've tagged or saved in feed posts.
When you choose a place, you can pick an image that has been tagged with that location to feature in your Guide.
#2: Instagram Product Guides
The next type of Instagram Guide you can curate is a Product Guide. This Guide is perfect for product releases, product recommendations, roundups, or gift guides.
You can attach and link any product listed on Instagram.
If you want to include a product from a brand's Instagram Shop, you can either search for it or select from your Wishlist.
#3: Instagram Post Guides
The next type of Instagram Guide you can share is a roundup of Instagram feed posts.
You can collect Instagram posts that you’ve created or saved (even if you're not the original author of a post).
Post Guides are great for roundups and curating lists of resources — they're perfect for sharing educational content or reflecting on current news or events.
Where to Find Instagram Guides
To access an Instagram Guide, visit a user’s profile page and select the Guides icon at the top of their profile feed:
If you can’t see this icon, it’s because that user does not have any published Guides.
You can also discover recommended Product Guides by visiting the Shop tab and tapping the “Guides” button at the top of the screen.
Instagram Guides Best Practices
Ready to create the best Guides for your brand? Here are four top tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Think About What Your Audience Wants
Using Instagram Guides is a great way to curate and organize content for your followers — the creative opportunities are endless.
Think about what Instagram content your audience has been engaging with most, and use this information to influence your Guides content.
For example, at Later, our audience is full of small business owners and social media managers who are on the lookout for social media tips. Knowing that, we created a Guide highlighting five of our favorite social media podcasts.
If in doubt, ask your audience. Share an Instagram Stories question or poll sticker and ask your followers what type of Guides they'd be most interested in.
Tip #2: Share Instagram Guides in Stories
Since Instagram Guides aren’t shared on a user’s main profile feed, you may want to give them an extra boost on Instagram Stories.
Luckily, you can easily share Instagram Guides to Instagram Stories.
Here’s how to share Instagram Guides in Stories:
Open your Instagram Guide
Tap the paper airplane icon in the bottom left-hand corner
Select “Add guide to your story”
It's that simple!
Tip #3: Highlight Your Community
If you’re a brand, this is a great way to show your products in the wild and provide valuable context.
Think about creating a guide that showcases your customers wearing or using your products like @tjswim:
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Tip #4: Use Guides to Build Strategic Relationships
Guides are a great way to shine a spotlight on brands, creators, or peers in your network — which can be huge for profile building.
If you’re a creator or brand in a specific niche, you could create a Guide that highlights 10 accounts that create content dedicated to your subject matter (including yourself).
It’s a great way to get their attention, open up the conversation, and who knows — they might feature you in a Guide in the future!
This is exactly what makes Instagram Guides a great relationship-building tool.
Instagram Guides create a whole new way to curate and consume content on Instagram — opening up huge opportunities for storytelling and e-commerce on the app.
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